This weekend I’ve read a great deal about online social networking. If I were to believe what I’ve read, I’d think that all you needed to do was set up a whizzy social networking site and you’d be an instant billionaire. Wherever you turn in newspapers, magazines, or even online, you’ll find plenty of people telling you that social networking is what the web was invented for and that it is a revolution in technology. Well, social networking is important, but don’t get carried away, it’s not that important. It is only the technological achievement of what us humans have been doing for thousands of years. We pass on information to each other socially. Such information is often valued highly if it comes from a respected friend or contact. But, and here’s the crucial bit, if we decide to act on such socially derived information we almost always check it out first. That means social networks may be beneficial to your business in getting your name spread about, but don’t neglect the more solid side of your Internet presence. After all, it’s your web site that people will ultimately check – not how highly you’re rated in some social network.
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.